Friday, June 29, 2007

More 2000 chickens coming home to roost

The geniuses on the Supreme Court, giddy with conservative majority fever, have been busy recently.

In particular, 3 cases involving the First Amendment were decided by the court this week:

5 Votes 4 Humorlessness

This case involved some students suspended for unfurling a banner at an Olympic torch-passing event that read “Bong hits 4 Jesus.” The event was not on school property, and was not even a school event. Basically, the students were suspended because their principal, who happened to be in the same place at the same time as they, did not think their shit was funny. The court decided that the students’ message was a serious one, and because the school has, according to the court, an interest in preventing drug use, suspending the students was not an infringement on their free speech rights. Why? Because they said so.

The Separation of Church and State – Ta Da!

This case was brought by people who objected to BushCo’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives using taxpayer money to provide social services through religious groups. In practice, those on the receiving end of those programs must attend religious services or otherwise subscribe to or support religious activity in order to receive funds or assistance. Although the establishment of this program would seem to be a clear violation of the 1st amendment’s prohibition against “respecting an establishment of religion,” because the WHOFBCI was established via executive order, and not by the Congress, the Supreme Court ruled that it was NOT unconstitutional. Yes, I said NOT unconstitutional. Because, even though the funds are public, and the funds are appropriated by Congress, the Congress did not tell the president to specifically spend the funds for the WHOFBCI, therefore, the Congress is not violating the separation, therefore, no violation.

Yes, it’s an impressive piece of redirection, isn’t it? It’s like the Supreme Court is some kind of magician who waves his hands and flourishes his cape and yells “Behold, look over there!” And then when we look, he throws shit on our shoes.

Freedom of Speech, Inc.

The last case was brought because of the McCain-Feingold law that attempted to curb the influence of corporations over public policy through their contributions to the politicians that they carry in their pockets. M-F outlawed corporations from, for instance, airing commercials that, while not explicitly telling voters whom to vote for, do attack the opponent of their pocket pol explicitly and by name. You’ve seen these. Like on the night before Election Day, you’ll see an ad that says “ask Hilary Clinton why she voted to fund the beating of puppies with sharp sticks,” – that kind of thing.

The court, in its infinite wisdom, decided that M-F violated the 1st amendment rights of corporations.

The WHAT, you say?

Ah, yes, corporations have 1st amendment rights. Why? Because legally, they are people.

Legally, in the U.S., corporations are people. And yeah, we have the Supreme Court to thank for this. And yeah, it’s fucked up. And fuck yeah, it is the direct cause of much of what is really really really fucking wrong with this country.

For more on that fucked-up state of affairs, check out this great little doc.

For more on the fucked-up decisions of the SCOTUS, go here.

For protection of your 1st amendment rights, I have no choice but to recommend that you incorporate yourself. Hard.


Larry Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bro said...

So if the country gets it's 51% common sense together and replaces said administration, which conservative justice is due to retire in the next 4-8 years?

I know Scalia goes hunting with Cheney which should statistically knock a point or two off of life expectancy.

dad said... country can be well governed unless its citizens as a body keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the law and that the law officers are only the machinery for its execution, nothing more.
Mark Twain

Larry Jones said...

I always thought the Supreme Court was the main issue in 2000 and 2004, and I've been pretty crabby since with those who thought "...both parties are the same," or who voted for Nader, or who chose not to vote for Kerry because he flip-flopped. If we had elected a liberal and we didn't like him, we could throw him out in four years, but at least he wouldn't have ruined the Court. Now we have to live with these guys for the rest of our lives.

And this is only the beginning. The next day they decided that school desegregation was no longer of any concern to the U.S. government, AND that price-fixing by big corporations, outlawed by the court 96 years ago, was OK now, because it promotes competition (!). So not only will the next few generations have to pay for the Iraq War, but they'll have to do it while paying higher (fixed) prices for everything else they buy.

GETkristiLOVE said...

The students should attend the next event as Bong hits 4 Jesus, Inc.

MacGuffin said...

scary scary times...

sv said...

Wait 'till they get a crack at Roe v. Wade; the scary thing is that it's the liberal justices that are nearing retirement, not the conservatives!

'Bubbles' said...

Thanks for this post, Vikki. I read it when first posted, but I am just overwhelmed by the how sickening it is. It stimulated a long conversation with my brother, though. We are amazed, sickened, and again, I feel complelled to do something, but don't know what. Shit. My vote didn't matter.

Johnny Yen said...

This court is going to be damaging this country for a decade-- or more, depending on what happens next year.